Aristide Tarnagda Plaidoirie pour vendre le Congo


Following a blunder by the army, it is up to citizens from a working-class district of Kinshasa to decide how much compensation each of the families of the victims is entitled to. With a lightness of touch, Aristide Tarnagda brings to the stage a caustic debate on the socio-political situation in Congo and its prevailing cynicism.

Kinshasa. Three women and twelve men come together for a meeting of a very unusual kind. The army has blundered into killing a group of supporters on their way home from a football match, mistaking them for anti-price increases demonstrators. The State will give compensation to the families of the victims but it will be up to the fifteen members of the Masina Sans-Fil neighbourhood supervisory committee to decide the amount each family is entitled to. How much for a dead adult? How much for a dead child inside the belly of its mother, a dead mother with a child in its belly, a deranged person, a no-hoper, a student or a pauper? This grotesque situation enables Sinzo Aanza to describe Congo's socio-political situation, a nation which exports raw materials that are vital to our consumer-based economies. And to question what constitutes the foundations of a society. His caustic writing excels in its denunciation of the bargaining that goes on between its members, and the poetic resistance it opposes it with in the aim of creating a new world. In Plaidoirie pour vendre le Congo, the humour that Aristide Tarnagda, the director of the Récréâtrales festival in Ougadougou festival, brings to the stage is a life-saving one. The laughter it produces removes all the bile and ugliness from our hearts, enabling beauty and our dreams to come to the surface.